Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Wrong Number?

I received a bit of a wake-up call this morning, but fortunately, it wasn't for me. Or at least it wasn't the bad news I feared.

The Princess is 90-something in people years these days. She came into my life nearly 15 years ago, a tiny kitten with a giant voice, 4 weeks old and dragging a broken leg. That was 6 cities, 5 jobs, 2 degrees and 1 marriage ago. She's the last survivor of a clowder of 6 cats. She was always the baby of the family, just a teeny bit s-p-o-i-l-e-d. Now that she's an only cat, she's my little shadow. Wherever I go, she's right there at my side or on my lap or at my feet or on the back of the couch behind my head. She still gets around very well on her crooked leg.

Quite early this morning I was having trouble sleeping, so I turned on the light to read for a bit. The Princess stood up from the foot of the bed, but when she tried to walk up for a snuggle, her back end gave out and she just kind of collapsed onto the bed. She didn't seem to be in any distress; in fact, she was purring like crazy. But it was like a knife in my heart. I am already very careful with her jumping up onto and down from things (I lift her whenever I can, and leave little stepstools around to make it easier for her to reach her favorite places). But my fear is that one of these days, that old injury or some other illness is going to flare up with a vengeance.

Like I said, she didn't seem a bit distressed. I figured any bad news could certainly wait a few more hours for dawn to break, so I scooted down next to her and we had some nice quiet time. No reason to hurry the bad news and give up our peacefulness. Worried as I was, I eventually dozed off. And when it was time to get up, the Princess bounced up, her usual perky self, without any sign that she'd had a problem. Even tonight she is zipping around, celebrating the spring breezes by scampering from room to room with her tail straight up in the air.

Maybe her foot just went to sleep. Maybe she was just groggy herself, and the uneven surface of the quilt was too difficult to navigate. Whatever happened, I will be keeping a doubly careful watch on her now. And I will be doubly sure not to take her cozy company and her good health for granted.

That wake-up call--and the foreboding that came with it--weren't for me this time. But the message got through, loud and clear. I don't think we can ever spend too much time with those we love.

5 comments:

  1. That would be so scary. I know if something happened to my Bastien I would have to take bereavement at work. A coworker and I joke about taking bereavement but in our hearts if anything happened to our pets we really would call in for work for 2-3 days.

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  2. I am so glad she is still doing OK, I had to wait three minutes to type this as Chuck needed his head scratched desperately and his chin was resting on the keyboard. Very subtle.

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  3. Christina, I hear you! They are family (not just "like" family), aren't they!

    Oreneta, thank you, I think that kind of thing is one reason we love them so. Nothing hidden about that agenda!

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  4. And take lots of pictures. When my cat died, I didn't feel like I had failed to spend time with her, but I really, really regretted that I had so few pictures of her.

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